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Thread: Why should an optician belong to their Association?

  1. #1
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    Why should an optician belong to their Association?

    Here's a question for all you...

    Why should a professional (optician) belong to their association?

    What do you think are the benfits?

    Do You belong? Why or why not?

    What does an association do for Opticianry?

    How involved are you?

    Do you know the difference between regulators and Associations?

    This is for me to understand how our industry views all this. Thanks. Answer what you wish :D.

    cheers
    RKM

  2. #2
    ATO Member OptiBoard Bronze Supporter HarryChiling's Avatar
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    Why should a professional (optician) belong to their association?
    Because they are a professional and want to support their industry.

    What do you think are the benfits?
    A voice, networking, and education.

    Do You belong? Why or why not?
    Yes, because I want something more for the profession and I can't do it myself.

    What does an association do for Opticianry?
    The good ones provide resources and oppotunities, the bad ones just take the money and run.

    How involved are you?
    Try to be as involved as possible, if they ask I will do and I try to mention ideas as well.

    Do you know the difference between regulators and Associations?
    Yes

  3. #3
    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    I echo what Harry has said. One voice can not rise above the static......many voices can be heard. Now go be HEARD!




    As Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction said from the stage;


    " Your either part of the problem.....or.....part of the solution"


    Go and be part of the solution!!

    :cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:

  4. #4
    Master OptiBoarder Cindy K's Avatar
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    Why should a professional (optician) belong to their association?
    Because the association, be it national or regional, is the collective voice representing the interests of our industry and the people who make our industry what it is today. It is the mechanism for fostering the promotion of opticianry both within itself and to the public. Here in Canada we have the Opticians Association of Canada as our national organization, with several provinces' (the OBC: Opticians of British Columbia included) associations sharing a blended membership with the OAC. This provides access to all members the incredible wealth of knowledge, support, continuing and primary distance delivery education opportunities, liability insurance, buying group, safety eyewear program,, the ability to network with thousands of opticians coast to coast and within our own provinces. And, very importantly, an organization willing and able to advocate on behalf of the individual optician in regulatory and legislative matters.

    What do you think are the benfits?
    Not so much what I think are the benefits, but what I know the benefits are: all points listed in above.

    Do You belong? Why or why not?
    I belong, because I know from first hand experience the importance of responsible representation on both the regional (provincial) and national levels. I also believe that an industry is only as strong and viable as those actively participating in the shaping of it. And, strength is in numbers. My conscience dictates that I am one of the numbers.

    What does an association do for Opticianry?
    A responsive optician's organization, directed by responsible opticians, can benefit both the individual member and the collective profession. Furthering our practice by providing quality mandatory continuing education opportunities is one example. The provincial association I'm involved with has a goal-- to provide quality, innovative, relevant and most importantly ACCESSABLE continuing education throughout this geographically challenged province. Providing advocacy between the regulator and the opticians, and experienced and knowledgable assistance in understanding requirements and regulation is another. A good solid association promotes the profession both within itself by providing networking opportunities within itself (after all, we're all in this together!) and to the public, in providing public service and information. Typically, the associations will negotiate with the provincial and federal government for fee schedules for government eyewear programs.

    How involved are you?
    More like how am I not involved. Besides chairing the OBC: Opticians of British Columbia I represent BC on the national level, and am also an optician member of the Quality Assurance Committee of our regulatory agency. I no longer have a day off, as much of my 'out of office' time is spent on association matters. But that's fine with me: I take some small comfort in the knowledge that what we are doing as associations today is helping to shape the future of this industry in BC, the entire country, and who knows, maybe eventually extending further afield.

    Do you know the difference between regulators and Associations?
    In a nutshell: the regulatory body is there for the protection of the public. Your association is there for the protection of the Optician. That is NOT to say the regulator is against the optician; quite contrary, ideally the regulating bodies will have a good relationship with the associations, and the opticians they regulate, in recognising and raising awareness of our capabilities and how the public is best served and protected.


    ASK NOT WHAT YOUR ASSOCIATION CAN DO FOR YOU, BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION!

  5. #5
    registeredoptician Refractingoptician.com's Avatar
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    Geez , for a moment I thought you were talking about OPTIBOARD and I was going to agree with you.

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    35yroldguy
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    Great quote! You are a player for sure! Many members pay their dues and then rant and rave why the doers are not doing enough! Members need to become involved in the process! I played on the team for over ten years as a doer and then I got tired of the non doers doing nothing! Stop blaming and start becoming a player! With the technology of computers every member can help in some way to become stronger and further opticianry in Canada and the United States!

    Great post!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy K View Post
    Because the association, be it national or regional, is the collective voice representing the interests of our industry and the people who make our industry what it is today. It is the mechanism for fostering the promotion of opticianry both within itself and to the public. Here in Canada we have the Opticians Association of Canada as our national organization, with several provinces' (the OBC: Opticians of British Columbia included) associations sharing a blended membership with the OAC. This provides access to all members the incredible wealth of knowledge, support, continuing and primary distance delivery education opportunities, liability insurance, buying group, safety eyewear program,, the ability to network with thousands of opticians coast to coast and within our own provinces. And, very importantly, an organization willing and able to advocate on behalf of the individual optician in regulatory and legislative matters.



    Not so much what I think are the benefits, but what I know the benefits are: all points listed in above.



    I belong, because I know from first hand experience the importance of responsible representation on both the regional (provincial) and national levels. I also believe that an industry is only as strong and viable as those actively participating in the shaping of it. And, strength is in numbers. My conscience dictates that I am one of the numbers.



    A responsive optician's organization, directed by responsible opticians, can benefit both the individual member and the collective profession. Furthering our practice by providing quality mandatory continuing education opportunities is one example. The provincial association I'm involved with has a goal-- to provide quality, innovative, relevant and most importantly ACCESSABLE continuing education throughout this geographically challenged province. Providing advocacy between the regulator and the opticians, and experienced and knowledgable assistance in understanding requirements and regulation is another. A good solid association promotes the profession both within itself by providing networking opportunities within itself (after all, we're all in this together!) and to the public, in providing public service and information. Typically, the associations will negotiate with the provincial and federal government for fee schedules for government eyewear programs.



    More like how am I not involved. Besides chairing the OBC: Opticians of British Columbia I represent BC on the national level, and am also an optician member of the Quality Assurance Committee of our regulatory agency. I no longer have a day off, as much of my 'out of office' time is spent on association matters. But that's fine with me: I take some small comfort in the knowledge that what we are doing as associations today is helping to shape the future of this industry in BC, the entire country, and who knows, maybe eventually extending further afield.



    In a nutshell: the regulatory body is there for the protection of the public. Your association is there for the protection of the Optician. That is NOT to say the regulator is against the optician; quite contrary, ideally the regulating bodies will have a good relationship with the associations, and the opticians they regulate, in recognising and raising awareness of our capabilities and how the public is best served and protected.


    ASK NOT WHAT YOUR ASSOCIATION CAN DO FOR YOU, BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION!

  7. #7
    ATO Member OptiBoard Bronze Supporter HarryChiling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35oldguy
    Great quote! You are a player for sure! Many members pay their dues and then rant and rave why the doers are not doing enough! Members need to become involved in the process! I played on the team for over ten years as a doer and then I got tired of the non doers doing nothing! Stop blaming and start becoming a player! With the technology of computers every member can help in some way to become stronger and further opticianry in Canada and the United States!
    Out of a poll of opticians on this board as to their response when offering to voluteer out of the 21 that responded
    14% were denied
    38% were accepted
    29% were given the run around
    19% never tried

    http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...=state+society

    That is almost 50/50 as to the number of opticians that were given an opportunity to help to ones that weren't or were just givent he run around.

    I agree that members should become involved, but some of these organizations are still controled by the old boys network or old girls network as is the case in PA. Many out there want to help and are not even given an opportunity, just pay your dues and watch a select few flush the organization down the toilet. Not all organization are like this, but opticians do get tired of the bull. I personally know of more than a few opticians that were willing to help and actively pursued ways in becomeing more involved and you guessed it they were sidelined and have now become the ones gripeing.

    I for one don't take it and have been fortunate enough to have very nice people that I have meet on this board help me get my foot in the door, but don't be fooled it took me 5 years of voluteering untill finally I was allowed to voluteer my time and efforts. It should be easier than that to get involved. I personally look at it as my duty to voluteer. If something isn't right I want to be part of the solution and their are organization in the states that have woken up and hit the ground running. Have you seen what the OAA has done in just the last 6-7 months, it's amazing. Then on the other hand you have the OAP (Opticians Association of Pennsylvania) within the last 6 months they have folded and started a new organization the PCOA (Pennsylvania Certified Opticians Association) and in doing so just painted an old organization new. A while ago there was a post about what people want from their organzations and it was a good post. It covered communication, voluteering and other topics that are commonly mentioned in threads concerning organizations.

    http://www.optiboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14564

    There are some great suggestion in that post a well as a ticked off version of me. There is also an individual who took and created an organization in our state that is supposed to represent opticians and turned it into a pseudo extension of his and his wifes business. It is scoundrels like these that turn members away, and keep them away.

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder Cindy K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryChiling View Post
    http://www.optiboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14564
    There are some great suggestion in that post a well as a ticked off version of me.
    There's several excellent suggestions and approaches in that post and many I recognize as actions and initiatives we take with our organization. Still, it boils down to too few doing too much for too many. But, I do believe that's the case with most volunteer organiztions; what makes opticians any different???

    Unfortunately what does sometimes occur is an individual eager and willing to help is really only persuing their own agenda, and these are the ones we need to weed out. It can be frustrating when one person attempts to hijack an organization's best interests.

    One point that really stuck in my mind from that thread is the suggestion that the newsletter be distributed to all opticians, not just members. I've long held the belief that the newsletter is a benefit of membership but I do see now that's not necessarily the case: wide distribution to non-members will show what the association is working on, and ultimately how members benefit.

  9. #9
    35yroldguy
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    Cindy: I agree with you almost. The Lions Cub etc are volunteer organizations that do a lot of good. Opticianry is a professional organization that every optician should be involved in to further not their own business interests but to work together as a team. It is too bad as Harry says that the old dogs want control to further their own interests! That will not ever work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy K View Post
    There's several excellent suggestions and approaches in that post and many I recognize as actions and initiatives we take with our organization. Still, it boils down to too few doing too much for too many. But, I do believe that's the case with most volunteer organiztions; what makes opticians any different???

    Unfortunately what does sometimes occur is an individual eager and willing to help is really only persuing their own agenda, and these are the ones we need to weed out. It can be frustrating when one person attempts to hijack an organization's best interests.

    One point that really stuck in my mind from that thread is the suggestion that the newsletter be distributed to all opticians, not just members. I've long held the belief that the newsletter is a benefit of membership but I do see now that's not necessarily the case: wide distribution to non-members will show what the association is working on, and ultimately how members benefit.

  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder Cindy K's Avatar
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    ... and I agree with you, almost...

    Quote Originally Posted by 35oldguy View Post
    Cindy: I agree with you almost. The Lions Cub etc are volunteer organizations that do a lot of good. Opticianry is a professional organization that every optician should be involved in to further not their own business interests but to work together as a team. It is too bad as Harry says that the old dogs want control to further their own interests! That will not ever work.
    I should have qualified the 'volunteer organization' as voluntary-membership professional organizations. Yes, you're absolutely 100% bang-on that every optician ought to get involved, but the fact remains that a great many within our ranks are your average 9-5 opticians just there to get that white envelope every two weeks. Sad, but true. And you're also very correct in stating that too often the old dogs want control to further their own interests-- I for one bear witness to that unfortunate situation, and it can be very difficult (note that I do not say the word, impossible) to rectify matters. Their way will not ever work, but if the apathetic and easily manipulated adherents to the old boys club are won over to the 'white side', the old boys will have less support and eventually there will be the opportunity for their foundation to crumble.

  11. #11
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Blue Jumper Guitars versus Marimbas...................

    Quote Originally Posted by 35oldguy View Post
    It is too bad as Harry says that the old dogs want control to further their own interests! That will not ever work.
    I believe that you guy's and girls just about answered this problem in length.

    I am just wondering.............35yearoldguy.......used to post from Guatemala a few years ago............... Now you are in Kansas. You like the guitars better than the Marimbas ? :bbg:
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  12. #12
    35yroldguy
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    Chris- I am still posting from Guatemala. I have been here ten years now. Just to let everyone know I am from Arkansas City, Kansas. I still like the sounds of marimbas almost as well as I like most music. Down here we listen still to the music of the 60's, 70's , and 80's in english!

    Yes we hammered this subject into the ground. Time to get on to another!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    I believe that you guy's and girls just about answered this problem in length.

    I am just wondering.............35yearoldguy.......used to post from Guatemala a few years ago............... Now you are in Kansas. You like the guitars better than the Marimbas ? :bbg:

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